A new 5G pilot programme in Russia will allow visitors to test out 5G gaming and virtual reality

Today, Russian operator Beeline has launched a new 5G pilot in SevKabel Port in St. Petersburg. The pilot will allow visitors to explore 5G’s potential through gaming, using virtual reality or directly online via Beeline’s gaming cloud service.
The 5G network, which has been developed in collaboration with Nokia and Qualcomm, has received a temporary mmWave spectrum allocation from the national regulator, theoretically allowing for blisteringly fast connection speeds. 
In the port’s 5G Gaming area, visitors will be able to choose from a range of around 500 games from Beeline’s cloud gaming service, accessing them via laptops, mobile phones, or tablets. A virtual reality gaming experience will also be on offer, allowing visitors to do battle with one another through a virtual shooter game. 
Gaming is one of 5G’s key drivers, with a fast, low-latency connection crucial to a smooth, competitive gaming experience. This is particularly true of virtual reality experiences, where the slightest lag between the users actions and its representation on screen can be unsettling and destroy attempts at immersion. 
“5G mmWave technology will deliver significant consumer benefits and is a revolution in mobile connectivity. Not only does it deliver huge improvements to download speeds, but also it significantly reduces latency allowing online, multiplayer, interactive gaming experiences that were not previously possible on mobile devices,” explained Yulia Klebanova, Vice President of Business Development at Qualcomm Europe.
Cloud gaming, whereby games are streamed from the cloud via a 5G connection, is being experimented in many regions around the world. In South Korea, for example, SK Telecom have recently partnered with Xbox to deliver a cloud gaming service this September. However, there are still logistical hurdles, beyond the ubiquitous 5G connectivity, that need to be addressed before this technology can truly be implemented at scale; Apple is currently clashing with the likes of xCloud and Stadia as to whether these services meet the standards required to be listed on its App Store. 
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